“The Fifth Quarter” is a short story written by author Stephen King for the 1993 short story collection Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
The story follows Jerry Tarkanian, a criminal looking to avenge the death of his friend Barney, who died at the hands of his own accomplices after taking part in an armored car heist. Unknown to them, Barney managed to get to Tarkanian before he died and told him of the heist and of a map divided amongst his killers that reveal the location of the stolen money.
At the start of the story, Tarkanian has tracked down two of the men, Keenan and Sarge, who are about to make a deal between themselves. He manages to hold them at gunpoint and forces them to give him their pieces of the map. However, things go wrong when a third man, Jagger, appears during the confrontation and attacks them both. In the firefight that follows, Sarge is killed but contributes to Jagger's downfall when his body obstructs Jagger's path; this gives Tarkanian the advantage necessary to kill Jagger.
Despite not having Jagger's part of the map, Tarkanian knows enough to recover the money. The story ends as Tarkanian leaves the scene. Tarkanian knows that his debt to his friend has been paid and he himself now has a lot to be grateful for.
This is teaching materials for a short story that would be considered untraditional. The assessments included vocabulary acquisition, critical thinking questions, and recall or comprehension questions on one sheet. These questions come in the forms of a mixture of matching, short answer, and multiple-choice. By completing this sheet the student will demonstrate an understanding of the material on multiple levels.
The other assessment is a creative art sheet. The creative art sheet asks the student to use the details from the story and their own knowledge, experiences, and imagination to synthesize a totally new work, this is a picture that is a visual representation that recreates of a scene, character or maybe the student's use or view of an aspect of the story. Along with this picture the student will explain their work with a short explanation.
The materials provided
1 Short story worksheet
1 Creative Art Sheet
1 Answer Key
NOTE: I have decided to include the Word Documents that the PDFs are created from so that if you would like to customize the unit for your classroom you can. However, I have used formatting and custom fonts that are not standard with many versions of Microsoft office. This may mean that opening them with a different version of office or without the same fonts installed will throw the formatting off. If so it may take some work to adapt them in your class. I am including them as an extra and would ask that I am not rated on the usability of the Word Docs. Since they are not the finished product, but an extra.